President Donald Trump’s witness intimidation routine is straight out of a mafia movie, MSNBC’s “All In” with Ari Melber explained on Monday.
“The other top story coming out of Congress tonight is truly concerning,” Melber noted. “The chairman of the top House committees warning the president against committing the crime of witness tampering, telling Trump federal laws prohibit efforts to intimidate or pressure witnesses against testifying.”
The warning was sent in a letter by Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD), the chair House Committee on Oversight and Reform along with Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) the chair of the Judiciary Committee and Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), the chair of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI).
“The unusual warning is a response to Trump attacking his former lawyer, Michael Cohen’s family in this interview,” Melber continued, playing a Fox News clip.
“Democrats say that may be a crime, because threatening a witness’s family to shape testimony is witness intimidation, a familiar crime from mafia circles and mob movies, from John Gotti to Frank White,” he noted.
This is not okay, not normal. That the witness intimidation continues while hundreds of thousands of honest public servants are without pay moves it from just outrageous to unconscionable. Can Republicans hear the past asking, “At long last, have you left no sense of decency?”
— James Comey (@Comey) January 14, 2019
“Is the president being gangster?” Melber asked New Yorker writer Jelani Cobb.
“I think it’s his rendition of what a gangster would be,” Cobb replied. This is kind of a fun exercise to think about how much of the president’s public pronouncements could be interchangeable with the voiceover from Goodfellas.
“He is a construction guy from Queens, he has certainly been in contact or come into some circles in which there are people from organized crime — just by the nature of that business and the time in which he was involved in it,” he noted. “There is the lingo, the tough guy act he puts on, you would never know he is the kind of WASP upper-class scion.”
“And then he is using this language,” he continued. “He is calling Michael Cohen a rat and saying what about your father-in-law and all these other kinds of things, as if they were just taken verbatim from a gangster movie or The Tony Soprano Guide to American Governance.”